The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition from the Trump campaign and GOP Republican candidates requesting that the Minnesota state legislature separate all mailed ballots received after Election Day in the event of legal challenges to their validity.
The petition, filed a week before Election Day, requested that the Minnesota Supreme Court issue an order directing Simon, a Democrat, to segregate all late-arriving mail-in ballots in order to “preserve the petitioners’ ability to challenge the legality of the secretary’s actions and to ensure the fairness and integrity of the election.”
The campaigns and other petitioners claim that Simon “unilaterally and without legal authority usurped the Minnesota Legislature’s—and Congress’s—power to establish rules regulating the manner and time of federal elections by deciding that he will not enforce Minnesota’s mail-in ballot deadlines.”
The campaigns argued that Simon acted in a way that is unconstitutional and that the measure violates both federal and state law.
They asked that mail-in ballots be separated into three categories: those received before the regular deadline of 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, those received after the regular deadline but before 8 p.m. on Nov. 10, and those received after Nov. 10.
Simon’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
There is also a separate appeals court ruling that states that mail-in-ballots received in the state after Nov. 3 must be segregated from those received by Election Day.
The three-judge panel in their ruling also stated that absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day but not received until Nov. 3 should be separated from other ballots in case they are later invalidated by a final court order.
The ruling doesn’t block Minnesota’s seven-day extension for counting absentee ballots outright but puts the grace period in danger. The case was sent back to a lower court for more proceedings.